Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 26, 2003 - Issue 92


pictograph divider


Mink, Raven and the Sea Eggs


by Northwest Coastal Legend


Two RavensIn the long ago, all the animals and birds were still human being and all regarded each other as sister and brothers.

So it happened one day that the Mink, and his brother, the Raven were paddling along in their canoe. It was a lovely day, it was hot and it was calm. There was no wind blowing, so the water was still and clear. They happened to look down into the clear water, and there, they seen allot of nice looking Sea Eggs (Urchins) at the bottom of the ocean.

So Mink told his brother, Raven, to stop paddling along said, "Look at all those lovely looking food showing at the bottom of the water. They really must taste good." After saying that, he took a hold of a basket made from young pliable red cedar limbs, and he dove to the bottom.

Whenever he got the basket full, he would come to the surface and pass the basket to his brother, the Raven, who would empty the basket into the canoe and hand the basket back to his brother the Mink.

Pink WeaselAgain the Mink would dive to the bottom and load the basket and again he would surface. He kept on doing that until the canoe was loaded with great big Sea Urchins, then they headed their canoe for home. When they arrived, they got ashore, then Mink invited all of the people to come to come down and have a feast of Sea Eggs.

The people were very thankful and showed a lot of respect to Mink, because they knew that he must have worked hard to accumulate so much of this good food. There for, all thanked him. So brother Raven, felt left out, because everyone was thanking and making such a fuss over Mink, and not paying any attention to him.

One day Raven got into his canoe. He was all alone. He took off, he did not want to share his reward of thanks with anyone when he returned home with his canoe loaded with those lovely Sea Eggs. He wanted to be the only one to receive respect and thanks, so he paddled for the place where Mink seen and got all those lovely Sea Eggs.

RavenWhen he arrived there, he looked at the bottom of the water, he seen all of them lovely, tasting Sea Eggs. He didn't hesitate. he got a hold of a red cedar bough basket and prepared himself for a dive to the bottom of the water, for he knew that the sooner he got his canoe loaded and returned home, the sooner he would get his many thanks and the respect of the people.

He took the basket in his hand and dove to the bottom. But, to his disappointment, he discovered that he was unable to submerge. He tried and continued on trying until he passed out. He drifted up to the beach. He was semi-conscious and his canoe had gone adrift. He laid there, more dead than alive. It happened that some of his people were passing by, they seen him on the beach and approached him and inquired what had happened.

StarfishHe spoke up and said, "My canoe was right full of those lovely eating Sea Eggs, which I intended to bring to my home and share it all with my friends, then the enemy arrived. They beat me up and left me her for dead and took my canoe loaded with those lovely Sea Eggs." So ends the story of the Mink, the Raven, and the lovely Sea Eggs.

Print and Color Your Own Mink Picture

pictograph divider

Mink (Mustela vison)

MinkThe North American Mink is characterized by a long, sleek body and short legs; a structure that is highly comparable to its close relative, the weasel. Its head is small (not much larger in diameter than its thin, long neck) with a pointed nose and muzzle and short whiskers that are only minutely visible. It has small beady eyes, as well as short ears that are barely longer than the fur that surrounds them. A mink's fur, which is highly valuable and sought after, can have great colour variation depending on the area it is found in. For the most part, the wild strain has a chocolate to almost black pelage that is short, thick and, soft, with black areas around the feet and tail tip and a white patch on the underside of the chin. The fur also contains long, black, oily guard hairs that prutrude from the soft undercoat. Some members of the species may have more irregular white patches on the throat, chest, and stomach area or there are even cases of "cotton" pelts that consist of a light coloured underfur. As a courtship aid, and less often a mode of defense, the mink has anal glands just below the surface of the skin in the rectal area which can spray a noticeably unpleasent musk, similar to that of a skunk. Indications that a mink has been in the area are more prominent in the winter and may include such signs as holes in the snow from plunging after prey or even troughs like that of an otter slide.

Mink are found throughout the United States, appearing in parts of every state except Arizona. They are also present in most of Canada, including an introduced population on Newfoundland. Only along the arctic coast and some offshore islands are they absent.

MinkMink are closely associated with the waterways and lakes of North America, but the smaller streams are preferred to the large, broad rivers. Along the coast they frequent the brackish marshes and, on occasion, the littoral area adjacent to the ocean. They are most common along streams partly choked by windfalls and other debris which create numerous water holes and at the same time offer concealment for the mink. Lake and marsh-dwelling mink are usually larger than those that live along streams.

Mink are active throughout the year. They are tireless wanderers and may travel several kilometers in their search for food.

The den is usually a retreat under the roots of a tree near the water, in a hole in the bank of a stream, in a pile of debris choking a stream, or in the houses of muskrats, which they kill or otherwise evict from their dens.

The mink is a skillful hunter and preys on a wide variety of game including muskrats, meadow voles, and cottontails, as well as fish, crayfish, and frogs. Its own principal enemies are the great horned owl, bobcats, wolves, and coyotes.

MinkMink are polygamous. The mating season is in January, February, and March and the four to eight young are born after a gestation period of from 39 to 76 days. At birth the young are blind, helpless, and covered with a coat of fine, short, silvery-white hair. They weigh about 6 g. When they are about 2 weeks old, the whitish hair is replaced by a dull, fluffy, reddish brown coat which, late in the year, is replaced by the adult pelage. Their eyes open at about 37 days of age and they leave the nest for the first time when about 7 weeks old. They are weaned when 8 or 9 weeks of age, at which time they weigh about 350 g. When about 5 months old, they are as large as adults.

The mink is one of the principal fur-bearing animals in the United States and is one of the few animals that can be reared economically on fur farms.

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!